Subscriptions Soar During the Pandemic

Subscriptions Soar During the Pandemic

It is well-known that COVID-19 has affected businesses across the globe over the past 8 months.  While it’s clear that many industries have suffered as a result, others, like subscriptions, have thrived.  Shelter-in-place orders in March caused an abrupt shift in consumer buying behavior when most people stopped visiting grocery stores, restaurants and shopping centers. Subscriptions have proven to be the perfect and most timely solution by providing products right to consumers’ doors.  Subscription-based services, which have offered convenience that traditional services haven’t been able to provide, come in many forms, from basic necessities, such as groceries and pet food, to entertainment, such as movie and music streaming.

Product Subscriptions

According to Forbes, one in five shoppers of 1,000 surveyed purchased a subscription box to get the products they needed during the pandemic. Among the most popular boxes were Hello Fresh, BarkBox, Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club.  The subscription trend is here to stay, as growth is expected to continue for the next several years and it is projected that 75% of direct-to-consumer brands will have a subscription-based option by 2023.  

The need for convenience has never been greater and companies who can simplify their customers’ lives will continue to succeed.  In many cases, companies have gotten creative, shifting their business models as necessary to include subscriptions, by offering flexibility and convenience in delivering their goods.

Digital subscriptions

Lockdown orders caused American consumers to get their entertainment at home, as well.  TV streaming, for example, increased in both consumption and frequency during the pandemic.  A survey from Nielsen revealed that the amount of video content consumed globally has increased by 60% since the Coronavirus began and is expected to keep growing the longer it continues.  

There are over 190 non-cable-based video platform streaming services in existence, with the most popular ones being Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Video and HBO Max.  Of the households that use these services, 87% subscribe to Netflix.  By March 2020, 97 million Americans had at least one streaming service subscription, up 3% from 2019.

TV streaming isn’t the only digital subscription service that has seen success.  Music, fitness, news and digital learning have also benefited from people’s desire to use these products from the comfort of their own homes.  And they don’t plan on dropping their subscriptions any time soon.  In a survey conducted in April 2020, The Harris Poll found that 72% of US adults plan to keep their music subscriptions, 64% plan to keep their exercise subscriptions, 58% will keep news and 54% will keep digital learning after the pandemic.

Telemedicine and mental health apps

Prior to the pandemic, no one, especially doctors, had ever imagined that telemedicine would be a viable option for seeing and assessing patients. While this platform doesn’t replace the importance of visiting a doctor in person to get an accurate diagnosis, telemedicine is clearly an effective and convenient mode of healthcare and is likely here to stay, especially for those patients who are uncomfortable being in a doctor’s office or who reside in less populated areas.  According to, nearly 80% of US healthcare specialists reported that their use of telemedicine technology has increased during the pandemic.  Telehealth increases access to care for a variety of illnesses, in addition to COVID, and has evolved since its surge in popularity last spring.  Many app-based telehealth services now offer subscription plans for both physical and mental health treatment.  Consumers can subscribe to apps, such as HealthTap, and choose between ongoing treatments or use them as needed.  Additionally, non-medical subscription-based apps that offer mental health benefits, such as Calm and Headspace, have become hugely popular.

How to manage it all

The average US consumer streams 8 hours of content daily and has accounts for at least 4 streaming services, according to a study from One Poll.  Additionally, 38% of poll respondents report that they use 5 or more platforms and 47% use free streaming platforms to watch movies and TV shows in addition to what they already pay for.  Adding in the various paid fitness, news and health apps, it can become overwhelming to manage all of these subscriptions and easy to forget what you are paying for.  When sticking to a budget, cutting back on subscriptions is a quick and easy way to save money.

ApexEdge relentlessly builds Subscription Management solutions to help consumers live better financial lives.  We can deliver this to your company as targeted, added value that you can then pass along to your customers to help them save money and ultimately reduce stress.

Subscription services have quickly become indispensable during a time when consumers are looking for convenience and flexibility.  They enable us to cook dinner more easily, have more family movie nights, participate in a variety of workouts at home and reduce stress levels.  However, it’s important to choose quality over quantity when you’re looking to save money.

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Subscriptions Soar During the Pandemic

It is well-known that COVID-19 has affected businesses across the globe over the past 8 months.  While it’s clear that many industries